After three years of preparation, Berkeley High School was accepted as an International Baccalaureate World School. Fast forward from that March celebration, and we find 26 Berkeley High students working toward the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Overseen by the IB Organization, this program seeks to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”
The school’s new IB Diploma Program is a two-year effort in which students take courses in English, math, history of the Americas, chemistry and Spanish. Students also have the option to study either psychology or art. Upon completion of the program, students must pass a Theory of Knowledge course, write a 4,000 word, college-level essay and devote three hours a week to arts, sports or service projects. If students complete all the requirements and pass the IB exams, they earn an IB diploma along with their South Carolina High School Diploma.
Doug Burges, history teacher and IB Coordinator, is proud of Berkeley’s acceptance as an IB World School: “It’s a major accomplishment for a school in a semi-rural area to become IB certified,” he says. Three local high schools now offer the IB Program: Berkeley, Fort Dorchester High School and James Island.